Laughter was heard in the distance, two people who seemed to enjoy each others’ presence. An innocent smile that was plastered on the young face of a child and a genuine snicker was emitted to the woman that accompanied the child. Sun was beaming light and clouds dance above the sky. A tree provided shelter for the two people, avoiding them to feel the sun’s hot kiss on their skin. Below them, a square red and white checkered blanket was placed and a basket full of snacks was set up beside them.
A simple mother and daughter day for them to celebrate. Chelsea thought bringing Rebecca to the large and peaceful park was a great idea. Children were scattered freely around the space, playing innocently with another fellow child.
“Honey, you want to play with them?” Chelsea asked her daughter when she had finished eating a strawberry sandwich. Rebecca nodded her head timidly to her mother. “Just don’t go too far and behave nicely to your playmates, ok?” she warned her daughter while Rebecca nodded again to say that she understands.
She watched her daughter leave and joined the other kids to play with them. Guarding Rebecca in the distance, she began thinking about her husband. She terribly missed him and worried about where he went. There’s no indication of him being alive or not and thinking about this makes her drain the emotion she felt inside.
No matter how devastating the situation she is in, she will not give in, she needed to be there for her daughter. She needed to be strong for Rebecca until she became an independent young woman.
She saw her daughter’s eyes in the distance the jolly it possessed, just simple happiness was the thing she always wanted to see in Rebecca’s young face. Chelsea laughed out loud when she witnessed her daughter getting caught by another playmate, hide and seek was surely children’s favorite.
Chelsea noticed that the clear sky was now getting dim, ′play time’s over′ she thought.
“Reb! Come back here, dear” she increased her voice for Rebecca to hear. She saw the little child running towards her. “That’s enough for today, you’re now all sweaty and smelly” she joked to her daughter with a light chuckling produced in her mouth.
“I not smelly!” Rebecca whined to her mother.
“Let me see...” Chelsea smirked and reached for her.
“Nooooooo mommyyyyy!” Rebecca avoided her mother’s hand. “Stopppp” she added with a laugh sticking to her words.
“I’m going to stop now, but when we get home, we get to shower, ok?” her mother said. “Now, guard this basket while I fold the blanket,” she continued.
Rebecca nodded and hold the now empty basket, watching her mother fold the large blanket they used on sitting. Chelsea grabbed the basket and placed the blanket inside it. Then, she grabbed her daughter’s right hand.
“Ready to go home?” she asked her daughter.
“Yup!” Rebecca answered cheerfully, apparently not drained from playing.
Knowing that their home is near to the park, they started to walk calmly beside the road. Rebecca suddenly hummed a familiar tone. A tone that her father was singing during her sleep time before he went missing.
“I miss daddy...” Rebecca said sadly, remembering some blurred memories of her father singing to her.
Chelsea knew that this will happen, she was prepared but when she heard her daughter’s tone, her mind was corrupted with despair. She also missed him but she didn’t want Rebecca to see that she was suffering.
She stopped walking and kneeled down facing her daughter, both hands were placed on the shoulders of Rebecca.
“Reb, daddy is always with us, those memories with him. Don’t get sad, remember that he’s always in here,” she said looking directly to her daughter’s watery eyes and pointed her head and chest where the heart is located.
“Ok, mommy,” Rebecca replied faintly while her mother wiped her teary eyes.
After that, Chelsea stands and grabbed Rebecca’s right hand and began to walk again.
“We will be having your favorite food later,” her mother blurted out when she realized that they were nearing her house. Rebecca’s gloomy face was now lit up when she heard the great news.
Chelsea saw this and she felt relief washed over her body. She wanted that joy in her daughter to stay to experience the happiness she didn’t have in her childhood, she knew how sadness affects a person, it invites you to the darkest void of emptiness, and never had a chance to see the light in every situation. Seeing her little bundle smiling gave her a warm feeling.
“Apple pie and chocolate shake?!” Rebecca exclaimed, getting excited by it. She started jumping and Chelsea smiled wider.
“Yes, honey. Stop jumping or your apple pie and a chocolate shake will be gone,” Chelsea said dramatically and this resulted in Rebecca to stop jumping and laugh at her mother.
They calmed down after a while and continued to walk. Chelsea saw the familiar structure of their house, they stepped forward to the small yard displayed in front. She fetched the key for the door and opened it.
“Get your clothes and get yourself fresh, while I prepare your food,” Chelsea instructed her daughter.
Rebecca nodded and run to her room eagerly for the food will be eaten later. Chelsea dropped the basket she was carrying earlier on the counter and proceeded to make their dinner for the day.
She set the table for the two of them and then called her daughter for them to eat together. They ate silently and enjoyably, savoring the delicious food. After they were finished, it was time for Rebecca to sleep but before that, she cleaned the dishes.
“Now, who’s ready for storytime?” she asked Rebecca knowing that she already knew the answer to that.
“Me! Me! Me! Mommy,” Rebecca replied with enthusiasm sticking to her voice.
“Ok, let’s start with the title,” she started. “This story is called ′The Great King Goes Undercover’”
“Woowww, this is exciting!” Rebecca exclaimed.
“The great king doesn’t want to be a king, he wanted to live a normal simple life like the rest of the village. Having carefree works, a loving family, and independence.” She continued and ignored her daughter’s remark.
“But mommy, a king can do everything, the royalty and power that everyone loves?” Rebecca commented, seemingly confused about the situation.
“Honey, a person will want something that they can’t have, same as the great king. Now, back to the story,” Chelsea clarified to her daughter and continued the story. “Realizing that he’s a king, he took advantage of his power to do the things he can’t do. He disguises himself and flew outside his kingdom. He enjoyed his life being a normal person without a title and he even met a beautiful woman that brought him an unknown feeling he never experienced in his lifetime, the feeling of love. They became friends and soon they started dating.” her mother smiled at this. “Then later on the king decided that he wanted her to be his wife, she agreed and have a beautiful son. Life seemed to be so perfect to them, a loving family, and a blessing son he received from above.” Chelsea inhaled deeply for dramatic effects. “But suddenly the king received a threatening letter saying that he must come back and rule his land, or he or she will perish his family,” she said intensely and loud.
“Oh no... what will happen?!” Rebecca said worriedly for the family of the king.
“The king left no other choice but to leave his family, he faked his death and faced the bitter reality in his life,” Chelsea said lowly and frown upon the situation.
“But... but, what about his family?!” Rebecca said angrily towards the story and being riled up her emotions.
“Be patient, my dear, I always told you that every story I tell you has a happy ending,” Chelsea reminded her daughter while Rebecca nodded. “One day, the king realized that a king doesn’t have to follow no one, he is his own ruler. He came back to his family and told them the truth about his title. At first, his wife was shocked and scared about the situation, she didn’t want her son in danger so she chose to be with the king. The king found out that his loyal guard was doing this, he locked him in the dungeon. Now, his family were safe, he made her his queen and his son a prince, the end.” Chelsea finished the story, smiling towards her daughter.
“That was a great story!” Rebecca said, happy about how the story turned out.
“Finished your milk and sleep, ok?” her mother said, earning a nod from Rebecca.
Chelsea kissed Rebecca’s forehead and whispered ‘I love you’ to her.
“I love you too, mommy. Good night!” and with that, Chelsea turned off the lights and silently closed the door to her daughter’s room.
Chelsea decided to go to her office which she finalizes most of her works. When she arrived at her destination, she saw written papers scattered around the floor. ′oh, I forgot about this′ she thought. She remembered earlier at how busy she was writing a story that she almost forgot the mother and daughter day and being a clumsy woman, she knocked over a pile of papers that resulted in her situation now.
She sighed and get started fixing the problem. While she was collecting the papers on the ground she began to think about Rebecca. She realized that her daughter will be going to school in a few months, time surely fly fast and soon her little one will not be so little anymore. She needed to find a school suitable for Rebecca. She didn’t want anyone to belittle her daughter like she was when she was a child.
The things she will do for her daughter, the things she didn’t experience when she was a kid, she wanted them to passed on to her daughter seeing Rebecca happy makes her happy. Even her husband was not here she will do it alone if it’s a must. She sighed again, how she missed her husband, her loving, caring, and passionate husband.
′Where are you?′ Chelsea questioned in her mind. A familiar void of emptiness began to indulge her and leave her numb again. It just repeats every time her mind wander to Esmond, her husband. Oh, how she wished this suffering will end, how she wished someone will understand her, and how she wished her daughter will be always happy and protected from everyone.